04/07/2016 9:17AM

Mohawk: Easy Lover Hanover rolls into Youthful final


The $39,800 Youthful Series final headlines this weekend’s first Saturday night card of the 2016 Mohawk meet.

A field of eight 3-year-old pacers will line up for Saturday’s series final and many eyes will be on the rail-starter and Ben Wallace trainee Easy Lover Hanover. The son of Somebeachsomewhere has the opportunity to sweep the Youthful Series and remain undefeated since joining the Wallace stable.

Purchased for $70,000 at the Meadowlands Mixed Sale in January, Easy Lover Hanover has won six consecutive starts for his new owner Brad Grant.

The pacing colt scored narrow victories of just a neck and a head in the preliminary legs of the Youthful, but driver Jody Jamieson, who has driven ‘Easy Lover’ in all six starts, has no concerns about the margins of victory.

“He’s a horse that only wins by as much as he has to and he’s been proving that lately,” said Jamieson. “He’s just a sweet little horse and the connections have to be happy with the purchase for sure.”

Easy Lover Hanover made his local debut back on February 4 and proceeded to win four consecutive non-winners of two events. His fourth victory was a career-best 1:52 1/5 score before stepping into the Youthful.

“This is the first bunch of horses that he’s beaten,” said Jamieson following last Saturday’s leg two victory. “Mostly he’s been racing non-winners of two and not a real rugged bunch, but he did go a trip in (1):52 where he had to do a lot of work and raced pretty tough.”

Trainer Wallace gave Easy Lover Hanover a few weeks off before his first real test in the Youthful and to this point the sophomore has risen to the challenge.

While it is still only early April, Easy Lover Hanover’s connections are optimistic and hopeful the Youthful is a launching pad to bigger events.

“We’ve got high hopes for him,” said Jamieson. “They paid him into all the big races, so we will see what happens, but so far so good.”

The ‘Easy Lover’ team of Jamieson, Wallace and Grant will be looking for their second consecutive Youthful Series final victory, as they teamed up last year to win with American Rock.

Although Easy Lover Hanover has been unbeatable in six local starts, he will have his hands full in Saturday’s final.

Bill Budd trainee Flaherty won a leg one division in an eye-catching 1:51 3/5, more than a second faster than Easy Lover Hanover. The Budd pupil finished fourth in the second leg, but will look to bounce back in the final from post-four.

The Count B Series winner War N Munn also poses a legit threat from post-five. Trainer Carmen Auciello opted to skip leg two and qualify the son of Stonebridge Regal after finishing second to Easy Lover Hanover in round one.

War N Munn will be looking to make his sire proud on Saturday, as Stonebridge Regal captured the 2005 Youthful Final in 1:51 1/5 for trainer Bob McIntosh.

McIntosh will be represented in Saturday’s final by Mach Power, who starts from post-six. The Hall of Fame conditioner has won the Youthful Series Final three times since it was established in 1986.

The 2016 Youthful Series Final has been carded as the eighth race on Saturday’s card.

Field for Saturday’s $39,800 Youthful Series Final


1. Easy Lover Hanover – Jody Jamieson

2. Gotti – Phil Hudon

3. The Catamount Kid – Doug McNair

4. Flaherty – Trevor Henry

5. War N Munn – Jonathan Drury

6. Mach Power – Randy Waples

7. Imsporty – Ondrej Gois

8. Sporty Mercedes – James MacDonald

--edited release (WEG)